Mustahab Acts, while taking a meal
2645. Few things, which are Mustahab, while taking a meal:
1. Washing both the hands before taking a meal.
2. After taking a meal, one should wash one’s hands, and dry them with a dry cloth.
3. The host should begin eating first, and should be the last to withdraw his hand. Before starting to take a meal, the host should wash his own hands first, and thereafter, the person sitting on his right should do so. Then the other guests should follow him, until it is the turn of the person sitting on the left side of the host. After finishing the meal, the person sitting on the left side of the host should wash his hands first, and thereafter other persons should follow him until it is the turn of the host.
4. One should say Bismillah before starting to eat, and if there are several dishes, it is Mustahab to say Bismillah before partaking of each of the dishes.
5. One should eat with one’s right hand.
6. One should eat using three or more fingers and should not eat with two fingers only.
7. If several persons are sitting together for their meals, every one of them should partake of the food placed in front of him.
8. One should take small bits of food.
9. One should prolong the duration of taking a meal.
10. One should chew the food properly.
11. After taking one’s meal one should praise and thank Allah.
12. One should lick one’s fingers clean after taking food.
13. One should use a toothpick after taking a meal. However, the toothpick should not be made of pomegranate wood, basil, or the leaves of date palm.
14. One should collect and eat the food, which is scattered around the dining cloth. However, if one takes meal in an open place, like a desert etc., it is better to leave the food, which has fallen aside, so that the animals and the birds may eat it.
15. One should take one’s meal in the earlier part of the day and in the earlier part of the night and should not eat during the day or during the night.
16. After taking one’s meal one should lie on one's back, and should place one's right foot on his left foot.
17. One should take salt before and after the meal.
18. When eating a fruit, one should wash it before eating.